How to Build a Solar Cooker?

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Build your own solar cooker

Solar cookers are a great way to cook your food while camping and enjoying the outdoors, they are relatively easy to build and use and some of the designs are even quite easy to build yourself and carry with you as you travel about.

Make your own Solar Oven

We will cover some of the basics about how to build a solar cooker and also how to use them for solar cooking. There are several drawbacks, which you need to be aware of as well if you are going to use your solar cooker to heat your food.

diy-Solar Oven : The Basics

The better solar cookers will use all of the following principles in their design and operation. The first is to concentrate sunlight into the area that you will be doing your cooking. Next you must be able to convert the sunlight into heat in order to cook whatever food is for dinner.

Lastly, trapping the heat inside a container makes the entire process more efficient and also keeps your food warmer for a longer period of time. Many people prefer to have their hot meal in the evening. Unfortunately there is little sun at this time to operate a solar cooker, so a device that is designed to trap the heat will allow you to cook your food during the hottest part of the day and keep it warm until the evening.

Various kinds of do-it-yourself solar ovens

DIY, Solar Cooking with the Sun's Energy

There are many different designs for solar cookers. Panel solar cookers operate using a panel that when unfolded focuses the suns rays into a central area were there is a pot for cooking.

This design is used in many countries today and is relatively cheap to manufacture. Solar kettles can heat food and water to boiling temperatures using concentrated solar energy and these units also retain the heat for longer periods to keep your food or water hot. There are also hybrid solar ovens and even hybrid solar grills. Hybrid units will use a combination of conventional electric heating for nighttime and solar heating for daytime cooking.

While some of these devices clearly take more sophisticated manufacturing techniques to construct, others can be built at home from relatively simple materials. The simplest can be made from cardboard to create the desired shape with tinfoil to line the cardboard and reflect the suns energy onto a central pot to heat your food. Care must be taken to avoid burning yourself as you handle the pots in the area were the suns rays are focused.

How to cook with a solar cooker

Many people will use a black pot to cook in. The color is important since black will absorb the suns rays and heat your pot as well as the contents. When you are ready, face your cooker towards the sun and place the pot inside the cooker, raised above the base sufficiently that the suns rays are focused on the pot. Once the pot and the cooker are properly stabilized, you can add your food to the pot for cooking. Some people will also place the pot inside a clear bag or a clear pot. This helps to further retain the heat over a longer period. This approach is especially helpful if you cook your food during the day, but would like to eat your hot meal later in the evening.

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How to make your own Solar Cooker?